Europe faces major medicine supply shortage

Photo by Christine Sandu/

As doctors see a rise in post-pandemic winter infections such as strep throat, pharmacies throughout the UK and France are running low on a critical antibiotic 

Pharmacies in the UK and France are facing a major challenge this winter, as the low supply of key medicines is resulting in shortages across the countries. According to a report in Euronews on Tuesday, December 6, health professionals from other countries including Italy, Canada and U.S. have also warned of potential shortages.  

The Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies in the UK has announced fears over the shortage of amoxicillin, the report said. This shortage comes at a time, when the country faces an increase in cases of scarlet fever. The outbreak of Strep A infections has already resulted in the death of over nine children this year.  

Some diabetic medicines were also in low supply in the UK, as was aripiprazole, a prescription indicated for certain mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe autism. 

Meanwhile, in France, supplies of amoxicillin and the common painkiller paracetamol are running low. Pharmacies have been advised not to give more than two boxes per patient. The report also said, short supplies have also been reported for some diabetes drugs.  

“The situation has been very bad over the years in all countries, and affecting all types of medicines,” said Ilaria Passarani, Secretary General of the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union, in the report. She added, “For the past seven, eight years, we have seen the problem increase”. 

Ireland, according to the report, also faces major medical shortages. Medicines for Ireland said in the report that over 180 medical products were in short supply.   

The report also said the medical shortages have been worsened after the COVID 19 pandemic, as well as due to the Ukraine war.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check out the EuroNews247 website for all your up-to-date European news stories.